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Fairy floss, ferris wheels and fun at the Royal Canberra Show

A partly cloudy start to Friday was not enough to deter the bumper crowds who flocked to Exhibition Park on the first day of the Royal Canberra Show. 

A brand new Ferris wheel took families 37 metres into the sky to view the fun, farming, food and fashion the event had to offer this weekend.

As always, a big part of the fun was the huge variety of show bags.

"I have Hubba Bubba, a jumbo bag and gag magic, because I love lollies," 10-year-old Zoe Neuss said.

Zoe and her 12-year-old sister Casey's favourite parts of the day were going on the rides and visiting the petting zoo where they watched a huge turkey walk around outside its enclosure.

For their father, Michael, it was about "seeing the kids laugh and have a good time".


"Canberra wouldn't be Canberra without the Canberra Show," he said. 

And the show wouldn't be the Canberra Show without the horticulture, yard dogs, milking barn, shearing display, and cattle judging, which provide families with a farming adventure in the city.

It was a successful day for livestock judging, with different breeds of sheep studied for their ability to breed a fine lamb.

"I'm looking for confirmation and I'm looking for meat … and I think I've found quite a few sheep that fit that description today," sheep judge Jason Barker said.

Local "city girl" Robin Swadling enjoyed the agricultural displays because "it's interesting to see another side of life that you don't get much exposure to living in Canberra."

The uniquely Australian sport of campdraft featured in the arena on Friday, in which a horseback rider must "cut out" one beast from a mob of cattle, move it through a figure-eight course, and back through two pegs – all within 40 seconds. 

When it came to rides, the longest rides were for the scariest offerings, but some children preferred less-extreme classics such as the cha-cha. Even this was too much for Cooper West, 12, though, who enjoyed the ride but "nearly fell off the chair!"

The warm weather and opening events made for a strong turnout Friday, and crowds were expected to grow as the weekend unfolded.  

Visitors to the Royal Canberra Show who have prepurchased tickets can travel to Exhibition Park on ACTION buses for free.

In addition to the regular routes servicing Exhibition Park, there will be extra services operating over the weekend, with chartered services regularly running from Tuggeranong, Woden, Belconnen, City and Gungahlin bus stations to the show.